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Written by Connie Skibinski
Hardships and Adversities
'All Creatures Great and Small' focuses on different forms of hardship, such as financial hardship, emotional hardship and physical struggles. This can be seen through recollections of farmers in poverty, individuals who have lost a beloved pet and battles against the elements. Hardship and adversity are also key elements of Herriot's plight, as he undertakes the numerous challenges involved with being a country vet. The recurring motif of snow throughout the novel symbolizes this key theme of hardships and struggles, as it further inconveniences Herriot and the local farmers.
Hope and Resilience
Despite the numerous challenges throughout the novel, there is a strong sense of hope and resilience when individuals overcome adversity. A key message of the novel is the importance of patience and persistancee. This can be seen through the plight of numerous farmers who are optimistic despite the failure of their farms and animals. In the end, these individuals gain great reward.
Importance of human relationships
Herriot emphasizes how relationships and connections to others are essential for an individual's happiness and self growth. Family relationships are represented through the Farnon family unit, as Siegfried and Tristan have a close and caring relationship. Friendships are also explored, such as Herriot and Mrs Pumphrey's friendship. Finally, romantic relationships are illustrated by the bond between Herriot and Helen. In this way, the author illustrates the importance of love and friendship.
Connection between human and animal
The novel primarily explores an optimistic connection between humans and animals. This is epitomised through Mrs Pumphrey's treatment of her dog Tricki Woo. The novel presents animals as the perfect companions for humans, as well as illustrating how farm animals such as cattle provide essential elements for food and financial stability.
The natural world
The author draws upon conflicting views and opinions of the natural world throughout the novel. Herriot emphasises the beauty of the land, and nature's ability to provide solace and healing. However, descriptions of the harsh winter climate also portray nature as terrifying. In this way, the author draws upon notions of Romanticism, presenting the natural world as equally beautiful and frightening.
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All Creatures Great and Small Questions and Answers
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